Curriculum integration of Catholic Social Teaching
Primary and secondary schools were invited to collaborate in school-based action research where Catholic social teaching principles would be integrated, in a planned way, across learning areas other than Religious Education. Attempts to identify participating schools involved presentations in approximately 70 schools within easy reach of Brisbane as well visits to the Education Offices in the other Queensland dioceses. While the overall response was disappointing, some 20 teachers from seven schools volunteered to participate and their individual experiences were very encouraging. The relationship between the project team and schools involved a partnership arrangement where participating teachers were supported in the following ways:
Payment of teacher supply costs to enable the participation of participating teachers in curriculum design, planning and associated meetings
Provision of school-based professional development focusing on Catholic social teaching, curriculum development and action research
Ongoing professional support with curriculum planning, development and implementation, reflective practice and evaluation of school-based activities
Provision of relevant resources (Caritas, Global Education Project materials linked with Australian Curriculum; children’s literature guidelines
Opportunities for participating teachers to showcase/disseminate their work at specially convened Seminars.
Option for participating teachers to gain 10 academic credits towards ACU Education Master's programmes (Master of Educational Leadership; Postgraduate Certificate in Educational Leadership; Master of Religious Education; Master of Education) by taking Unit entitled ‘The Reflective Practitioner, School-based Inquiry and Teacher Professional'.
Participating teachers worked collaboratively on curriculum planning and implementation. They presented their main findings at specially convened Seminars in May and November 2016. These presentations and some associated reports are available either as video links of Power Point presentations at LINK.
Relevance to Australian National Curriculum
Participating teachers were encouraged to develop the links between their Catholic Social Teaching principles and relevant general capabilities and/or cross-curricular themes of the Australian National Curriculum such as: Ethical Understanding; Critical Thinking; Sustainability.